Runner to make motorbike engines | The Daily Star
12:13 AM, September 23, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:19 AM, September 23, 2013

Runner to make motorbike engines

Runner to make motorbike enginesRunner Automobiles Ltd, a motorcycle maker, plans to manufacture motorbike engines locally in the next two years, its officials said.
The company has so far invested around Tk 200 crore in its 100-bigha plant at Bhaluka in Mymensingh, and will make further investment to set up the full-fledged manufacturing unit.
“Currently, we make chassis and body in our factory and plan to start manufacturing engines in 2015,” Hafizur Rahman Khan, chairman of the company, said.
At present, the company has the capacity to produce 1.5 lakh motorcycles a year, and once the new unit is up and running, the capacity will double, Khan said.
Producing engines locally will increase the value addition of the pro-duct by around 25 percent, he said.
“Our aim is to manufacture motorcycles using the locally-made components. The new plant will help us move one step ahead towards the goal,” Khan said, adding that other manufacturers will be able to buy engines from Runner.
The new plant will help the country save a huge amount of foreign exchanges spent on importing such engines, he said.
Runner Group is extending technical support and incentives to some small and medium enterprises that make and supply the component parts, including seat, side cover, indicator light, head light, back light, cables and wiring harness, to Runner and other companies.
“It is an urgent need to build a strong backward linkage industry if we want to turn Bangladesh into a motorcycle manufacturing hub,” Khan said.
In 2012 the company sold a total of 33,576 units of motorcycle in Bangladesh, down by 28.48 percent from 2011, said M Anwarul Azim, director (international operations) of the company.
In the first six months of 2013, the company sold 14,194 units, he said, adding that Runner has a 16 percent share in the motorcycle market.
The company has also started exporting on a limited scale, Azim said. Their potential markets could be the northeastern states of India, Nepal, the UAE and some African countries, he said.
"We need long-term policy supports from the government to help the industry grow further," said Khan, the chairman of the company.
For the local market, the company uses the brand names -- Dayang-Runner and Freedom-Runner, while for the overseas markets the brand name will be Runner.
The company sells various models, with the prices ranging from Tk 72,000 to Tk 1.35 lakh for 50cc to 150cc motorcycles.
Runner Automobiles started its business in 2000, with a paid-up capital of only Tk 1.5 crore, as a distributor of Dayang Motors, a joint venture between Thai and Chinese companies.

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